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Nurse, writer, activist
Author: Lea M. Williams

Ellen La Motte: nurse, writer, activist, is a biography of La Motte that traces the arc of her life, from her birth in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1873 to her death in Washington, D.C. in 1961. It integrates original unexamined sources such as diaries, unpublished manuscripts, and publishing contracts along with primary sources—letters, newspaper articles, health department reports, and public records—with an examination of her prolific published writings, about topics as diverse as tuberculosis nursing, women’s suffrage, nursing during the Great War, and the opium trade. It considers of how she developed as a nurse, writer, and activist once she entered the Johns Hopkins Training School for Nurses in 1898 and grew into a potent force in the anti-tuberculosis campaign. Gaining experience speaking and writing on behalf of controversial causes, La Motte put her talents to use on behalf of the fight for the vote for women, nursing during World War I and the anti-opium campaign.

Lea M. Williams

4, 1915. 5 GSABTP, “Emily Chadbourne to Gertrude Stein,” December 19, 1915. 6 Gertrude Stein , The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas ( New York : Vintage , 1990 ), p. 158 . 7 See Chapter 3 for more discussion of this comment. 8 Private Collection, “Ellen N. La Motte to Ellen Newbold La Motte,” May 31, 1916. 9 Jane Conway , A Woman of Two Wars: The Life of Mary Borden

in Ellen N. La Motte
La Motte and nursing, 1898–1913
Lea M. Williams

-School Items,” AJN 6:1 (October 1905), p. 63. 18 Ellen N. La Motte , “ Early Struggles with Contagion ,” AJN 1 : 8 (May 1901 ), p. 541. 19 Ibid ., p. 545. 20 Ellen N. La Motte , The Tuberculosis Nurse , History of American Nursing (1915; repr., New York : Garland Press , 1985 ), p. 2 . 21 Ellen N. La Motte , “ A Modern Italian Hospital ,” AJN 4 : 12

in Ellen N. La Motte
Abstract only
The end of campaigning, 1930s–1961
Lea M. Williams

1 La Motte, “Egypt: Diary and Notes.” 2 Ibid . 3 Ellen, N. La Motte , “ A Coronation in Abyssinia,” Harper’s Magazine (April 1931 ), pp. 574 – 584 . 4 Ibid ., p. 575. 5 Ibid ., p. 576. 6 Ibid . 7 Ibid ., p. 581. 8 Evelyn Waugh , Remote People ( London : Penguin Books , 2002 ), p. 34

in Ellen N. La Motte
Lea M. Williams

, to the Board of Police Matrons, the same month the column was published, suggesting she was the content expert for the April 1911 column, which discusses the rape of minors and the punishment their attackers received. 74 “Court Proceedings,” p. 9. 75 Ibid . 76 Ibid . 77 Ellen N. La Motte , The Tuberculosis Nurse , History of American Nursing ( 1915 ; repr., New York : Garland Press , 1985

in Ellen N. La Motte
Abstract only
The making of a nurse, writer, and activist
Lea M. Williams

this is Ellen N. La Motte–she was called Nellie by members of her family and a profile of her from the 1950s states that she “attended fashionable Miss Rebecca Powell’s school in Arlington, Va.” 15 However, in her application to Johns Hopkins she explained that she finished her formal education at Miss Anable’s Boarding and Day School in Philadelphia, an establishment that other women in the du Pont family attended and one that offered a curriculum similar to that of the Powell school. After she completed her studies

in Ellen N. La Motte
Lea M. Williams

time in the United States visiting family in New York and Chicago and preparing for her next voyage. This time she would turn away deliberately from western Europe, the place that had served as her home and fostered her creative work for the past three years, to travel east. Notes 1 Private Collection, Ellen N. La Motte, Unpublished Diary (hereafter Diary), “August 17, 1915.” 2 Christine E. Hallett , “ Portrayals of Suffering: Perceptions of Trauma in the

in Ellen N. La Motte
Lea M. Williams

Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC (hereafter NARA), General Records of the Department of State, 1763–2002, Record Group 59, Consular Registration Certificates, Compiled 1907–1918, ARC ID: 1244186. 4 The JHNAM notes that her book was almost finished by then. See “News Notes,” JHNAM 13:3 (July 1914), p. 109. La Motte discusses completing a draft in April, being almost done with revisions in May, and having sent it to the USA in June. See JHMI, Ellen N. La Motte Collection

in Ellen N. La Motte
Christine E. Hallett

do it well and with compassion. Her heroine was the ‘Night Hawk’, an unnamed Canadian nurse at whose light heels she ‘flitted’ through the dense darkness of the field hospital. Notes  1 Mary Borden, The Forbidden Zone (London: William Heinemann, 1929).  2 Anon., My Beloved Poilus (Saint John, NB: Barnes, 1917).  3 Ellen N. La Motte, The Backwash of War: The Human Wreckage of the Battlefield as Witnessed by an American Hospital Nurse (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons and The Knickerbocker Press, 1916).  4 Margaret Higonnet, Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900–1925 (London: Virago Press, 2004 [1933]): 329. 19 Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory: 40. 20 Ellen NLa Motte, ‘A Joy Ride’, The Atlantic Monthly, 118 (October 1916): 481–90 (484). 21 Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory: 131–3 (quote at 131). 22 Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory: 69; Juliet Nicholson, The Great Silence:  1918–1920. Living in the Shadow of the Great War (London:  John Murray, 2009): 122. 23 Enid Bagnold, The Happy Foreigner (London:  Virago Press, 1987 [1920]); Brittain, Testament of Youth:  481–2. In

in Nurse Writers of the Great War